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Metropolitan Museum of Art Study Collection of American Sculpture Photographs, Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Commission charter, "Act to Create an Art Commission for the City of Boston," 1890; handwritten minutes of staff meetings, 1890-1959; annual reports and related correspondence, 1899-1953; minutes of a joint meeting of the Boston Art Commission, the Park and Recreation Commission, and the City Planning Board, 1914; 3 files maintained by the Boston Art Commission: monument files, 1890-1957, regarding the signing, erecting, and restoring of monuments, including estimates, proposals, contracts, sketches, printed materials, and photographs; operating and general files, 1890-1957, on statues, tablets, busts, paintings, monuments, and memorials in Boston public schools, Faneuil Hall and others locales; correspondence files, 1895-1953, for Boston Public Art Under the Curatorship of the Boston Public Library; 3 clippings, 1934-1947; and 2 brochures, "Some Statues of Boston," 1946, and "Other Statues of Boston," 1947, by Allan Forbes and Ralph M. Eastman.
Correspondents included among the monument, general, correspondence files include members of the Boston Art Commission, mayors of Boston, sculptors, and architects. Among the correspondents are Herbert Adams, Thomas Allen, Paul Bartlett, Robert Bellows, Patrick Collins (mayor), John Templeman Coolidge, James M. Curley (mayor), George Harold Edgell, Daniel Chester French, Henry Hudson Kitson, Alexander W. Longfellow, Charles D. Maginnis, J. Harleston Parker, Josiah Quincy (mayor), Arthur Shurtleff, C. Howard Walker, Samuel D. Warren, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
The Boston Art Commission was founded in 1890.
Lent for microfilming by the City of Boston, Boston Art Commission, 1984.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
5.7 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 3 reels))
Scope and Contents:
Biographical material, correspondence, writings, art works, legal and financial records, scrapbook, photographic and printing material, and printed matter.
Biographical materials include a copy of Henry Hudson Kitson's birth certificate; his confirmation certificate; a copy of the death certificate of his father, John Kitson; a photograph of the honorable mention certificate received by Theo Ruggles (Kitson) for "Young Orpheus" from the Societe des Artistes Francais, 1890; a letter of reference for her from sculptor George F. Bissell, 1901; her will; calling cards from those who attended her funeral, 1932; biographical data on Henry Kitson; genealogical data on the Kitson family; an incomplete list of works by the Kitsons compiled by Dorothy Patricia Cavanagh; and a diary by Henry Kitson, 1902-1904, containing brief entries pertaining to his daily life and work.
Personal and professional correspondence includes letters from Theo to Henry from Paris, 1890, including an illustrated letter to "my own darling child" (? Henry Kitson) describing her award ceremonies at the Salon, an illustrated letter to her father, written from Rome, describing the city, a letter from Henry Kitson to Miss Tower, ca. 1899, about putting the Minutemen Memorial in Tower Park, Lexington, Mass., letters from him to his wife, 1903, and to "Babsy" (his daughter, Theo), undated, with sketches for constructing a fence and a stone wall, a letter from Alexander J. Schottes, 1905?, containing descriptions and sketches of the studios of Daniel Chester French, Charles Grafly, Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Louis Saint-Gaudens, copies of letters from Kitson to the secretary of Queen Wilhelmina of Holland requesting photos preparatory to making a bust of the Queen, letters from the War Dept. to the Kitsons about their work at Vicksburg, Miss., and letters to Theo from the Gorham Manufacturing Company. Posthumous correspondence includes letters to the Kitsons' son John, his wife Helen, and her sister, Dorothy P. Cavanagh, from sculptor Lee Lawrie, sculptor Milton Horn and his wife, Estelle.
Writings include a poem by Henry Kitson; a description of a "Visit to a Bronze Foundry" (Gruet, Fils, Paris), author unknown, undated; reminiscences by sculptor Lee Lawrie; and a remembrance of Lawrie by Dorothy P. Cavanagh, 1963.
Art works include a childhood sketch by Theo Kitson of her home in Brookline, Massachusetts; sketches of animals; several sketches by her, possibly for monuments; unidentified sketches, chiefly of possible monument designs, probably by one of the Kitsons; a rendering by an architectural firm of a bas-relief designed by Henry Kitson, 1935; 2 caricatures of Kitson by Hiram Jay; an etching by Robert Kitson, 1891; various sketches of Japanese figures and costumes by Hiroshi Yoshida, 1910; and 2 pastels by T. (?) Walser of "Stonegate" (?), home of the Kitsons in Framingham Centre, Mass. Also iIncluded are 4 steel dies for bas-reliefs.
Legal records 1895-1940, include specifications for the Soldiers' Memorial, Vicksburg, Miss., numerous contracts for works by the Kitsons, copyright receipts and certificates, and deeds for sale of real estate. Financial records, 1882-1946, include invoices for casting for Henry Kitson, his bank statements, 1931-32, and his promissory notes.
A large scrapbook, 1888-1954, annotated by Dorothy P. Cavanagh, contains clippings, genealogical information on the Kitson family, photos of works by the Kitsons, personal photographs, correspondence, including letters from Henry Kitson to his future wife, 1892, and postcards to her and their children, a humorous resolution about the "Regiment of Macaroonies," written by Henry Kitson's friends in Paris, 1888, invitations, agreements for sculpture, copies of speeches given at the University of Minnesota for the Student Soldier Memorial Monument dedication.
Photographs are of the Kitsons, their family, homes, studios, Paris, ca. 1900, and their work, including photos of oxen hauling the granite boulder for the base of the "Volunteer" by Theo Kitson from Quincy, Mass. to Vicksburg, Miss., 1904, and scenes of the dedication of the monument. In addition, there are 7 photos of "Work in Progress" by Ellin and Kitson and Company for the Equitable Building, New York, 1887, a photo of the Astor Memorial, Trinity Church, New York, which the firm also worked on, and 6 undated photographs of works by Samuel Kitson.Also included are glass negatives of the Kitson's work.
Printed materials date from 1884-1979.
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptors; Boston, Mass. Henry Hudson Kitson's actual name was Harry Kitson. Theo(dora) Alice Ruggles became his student in 1886 at the age of 15; in 1893 they were married and were notable monumental and portrait sculptors by the turn of the century. They had three children: Theo (also known as Babsy or Babbins), Dorothy and John. Three years after Theo's death, in 1935, Henry married Marie Hobron.
Additional Kitson letters also located at: New York Historical Society.
The donor, Dorothy P. Cavanagh, was the sister of the Kitsons' daughter-in-law Helen (wife of John), and was writing a biography on the Kitsons up until her death in 1986. The microfilmed material was originally loaned by Cavanagh June 28, 1982 and September 12, 1986, and then donated upon her death by her nephew and executor, Paul Bennet. The unmicrofilmed material was donated by Cavanagh in 1973 and 1976.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Research material for Cavanagh's "The Bronze Parade," an unpublished biography of sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson; and art work.
Included are lists of works by Henry Hudson and Theo Allice Ruggles Kitson, family geneaologies, reminiscences, extensive quotes from the Henry Hudson Kitson diaries, and two notebooks with additional information; a few letters; early and final drafts of the ca. 300 p. manuscript "The Bronze Parade"; a photograph of a plaster bas-relief; and works of art, including a plaster head of a youth, probably by Henry Hudson Kitson for "Music of the Sea," (ca. 1883); a plaster bas-relief and marble bas-relief of "My Mother," by Kitson (1893), and a painted plaster bookend with a bust of an American Indian signed T.(heo) A.(lice) R.(uggles) Kitson.
Biographical / Historical:
Cavanagh: Art historian. Kitson: Sculptor; Lee, Mass.
Donated 1987 by the Dorothy Cavanagh estate, through Paul Bennett, Cavanagh's nephew and executor.
Unmicrofilmed; use requires an appointment and is limited to Washington, D.C. storage facility.